Fresh concerns over 'car park sex image'

Published Thursday, 17 July 2014
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Fresh concerns have been raised about the risks young people are taking and the impact when images circulate online, after a photo emerged of two couples having sex outside Belfast nightclub El Divino.

Fresh concerns over 'car park sex image'
Alcohol is often a contributing factor in such situations. (© Getty)

The explicit image, which shows two young women on top of two young men on the ground outside the venue, has been shared extensively on social media networks.

It follows a number of similar incidents, including a video of an 18-year-old girl from Co Armagh who was caught on camera performing sex acts on 24 men in a nightclub in Magaluf.

The footage went viral, meaning it had been shared by thousands of people around the world - to the devastation of the teenager and her family.

Speaking after the latest incident came to light, Alliance MP Naomi Long said she was concerned that young people were leaving themselves "extremely vulnerable" - often due to excess alcohol.

"Apart from the risk to their own safety and sexual health, such images going viral on the internet can have significant ramifications for people beyond the immediate commentary," she said.

Ms Long also spoke out about the attitudes towards women caught up in such incidents, compared with men who are also involved.

I find the exclusive focus on the women and girls in such situations quite unjust.

Naomi Long, Alliance

"The notion of shaming women and girls for engaging in the same high-risk sexual behaviours as their male counterparts, who are often lauded for the same behaviour, speaks volumes about society's attitudes," Ms Long said.

"It perpetuates stereotypes which are damaging to women and to men, rather than encouraging a culture of respect - for self and for others - in all our young people, regardless of gender."

That issue of double-standards was also raised by Geordie Shore star Jay Gardner after the Magaluf incident, which he witnessed during a personal appearance at the nightclub in question.

He claimed that the teenager who engaged in 24 sex acts in the hope of winning a holiday had asked if he wanted to be "number 25". He declined.

"She's obviously done this - but there's another 24 people involved," he said, noting that the men involved had not received anything like the same amount of attention.

Previously, a teenage girl was caught on camera performing sex acts during a gig at Slane when 80,000 people gathered to see US rapper Eminem last August.

The images trended around the world on Twitter, but it emerged that the girl was just 17 and so distraught by the extent of the unwanted attention that she ended up in hospital.

At that time, child protection teacher Jarlath Burns spoke to UTV regarding the particular dangers of sharing explicit images online when they involve those aged under 18.

"It is actually an offence to view a lewd picture involving an underage child," he said.

The age at which someone is considered a child in terms of explicit images is not necessarily the same as the age of consent.

In Northern Ireland, the age of consent is 16, but indecent images of children relate to anyone under 18. In the Republic of Ireland, the age of consent is 17 and indecent images relate to under 17s.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
11 Comments
g carroll in belfast wrote (37 days ago):
articles like this are the problem!!! its reporting about the images that makes them so well known and every time one of these people are mentioned in an article it brings it all up again. we hav all done stuff like this but were just lucky nobody got it on camera
quiet man in derry wrote (47 days ago):
sure no one is bothered when young men and woman beat the heads off each other outside almost every other pub in the country every thurs fri and sat nights. but a wee bit of loving gets the media attention. grow up and report a real story U.T.V. hey as the badge said "Make Love Not War"
Marie in Belfast wrote (59 days ago):
Maybe before people comment they should engage their brain, Or at least run a spell check. Anyway I think people should take from this the danger of social media. For every action there is a social media over-reaction and once something goes viral it spreads like wildfire. Everyone has done something embarrassing in life not necessarily involving sex acts however now with the use of camera phones anything done publicly can be uploaded almost instantly.
graham in belfast wrote (64 days ago):
For all you people saying that from the other photo they were not doing anything.if you take the time to look at it you will notice that they are sat in a completely different position than the 1st pic shows.also the pic from behind the girls still have shoes on were as they dont in the other pic.people need to take more pride in themselves!
anon in Belfast wrote (64 days ago):
If they were all fully clothed even outside a pub/nightclub, don't ya think mabey they were all just messin about, who thinks these ideas up mabey they both fell over tryin too hard to hold eachother up.
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